An Influencer Introduction With Myke C-Town
Myke C-Town shares their favorite tools, how they grow their audience, how they find sponsors, and more.
1 of 12What question are you asked the most when you tell someone you're a blogger/content creator?
I typically don’t. It’s not really something I mention in day to day conversation. But there have been a few times I’ve said to people “I make YouTube videos” and they usually look at me with confusion. I’m not sure what it is about my appearance that says I can’t be a YouTuber. Haha. But the only question I can think of that they ask is “what do you talk about?” Then things get interesting when I tell them I talk about everything from hip hop to metal to social issues to relationship advice. I’m an electronic Jack-Of-All-Trades. I think people have mentally relegated YouTube to young kids doing pranks or make-up tutorials. They get confused when an adult says they do it as well.
2 of 12How do brands find you?
I’m not entirely sure. But I do try to tag my videos with the most relevant keywords possible depending on what the video is about. So I’d like to think I’m coming up on general searches. But I believe people find my main channel, Dead End Hip Hop, because we’re one of the largest channels doing hip hop reviews and commentary on YouTube. From there they probably find my channel because it’s listed as a related channel.
3 of 12Is there anything that you believe a brand should know before they begin reaching out to influencers?
They should know what your content deals with and who your audience is. Too many times I get contacted by companies who I can clearly tell have never watched a single one of my videos. They just see the numbers and instantly send out a canned email. And that may be fine for some people but not for everyone. I’ve had companies reach out to me asking me to do reviews of their new polka rock group. Something I clearly would have no interest in, which anyone would know by doing a few minutes of research. This would save both the creator and the brand’s time.
4 of 12What one tool for your content or your business can you not live without?
I can’t think of any one tool that would be detrimental to my content. Does Google count? I try to do a lot of research about any topic that I decide to cover. Whether it be an album review or a topical video. Coming across as nonchalant is fine, but I never want to come across as uninformed or ignorant.
5 of 12How do you decide how much to charge a brand?
It all depends on what they want me to do. A simple graphic ad? Do they want me to just mention their product/company? Do they want a full on review of something? I think it’s important to be properly compensated for your time. A lot of people think that making YouTube videos is an extremely simple task that’s just a matter of stepping in front of a webcam and talking. They don’t take into consideration prep time, research, setup, filming, editing, etc. And if I’m doing an extra amount of any of those things specifically for your benefit then I think it’s prudent that you pay me for that time. I also think creators should take into account what they think their brand is worth and not sell themselves short. You know your reach, you know your audience. Charge accordingly
6 of 12What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when starting out?
Figuring out how all of this stuff works. I didn’t even watch YouTube before I started making videos with Dead End Hip Hop. I only went on there to check out music videos. I had no idea there was an entire content community that was thriving there. So when Dead End Hip Hop started I pretty much left the marketing and everything to the other guys because I had no interest in it. But then when I broke off to do videos of my own I had to learn how to do everything from filming to editing to marketing myself. There wasn’t necessarily a blueprint on how to do this. And if there was I didn’t see it. So, over time, I had to learn by trial and error. Some would say I’m still learning.
7 of 12How do you personally keep your content true to your voice while also delivering value to a brand?
That is probably one of the hardest things to do. But it’s also one of the most important. You never want to sacrifice integrity for anything. Including (and especially) money. And that’s why it’s important for a company to properly research the content creator they’re looking to use for advertising. I try to be very transparent and open about myself on my channel. I feel that a level of sincerity and authenticity will keep your audience coming back to you. The moment you sacrifice that for monetary gain, you lose respect in the eyes of your audience. Some companies will come to you and actually ask you to change in order to fit what they need not realizing that catering to their ad campaign is precisely the type of thing that will lose that creator the exact audience that got them to the point where that company would be contacting them in the first place.
8 of 12What is the biggest challenge you face now that you have an established audience?
Keeping them around. You never want to cater your content to your audience. Meaning, I would never want to not say something I feel because of the fear of losing subscribers and viewers. But I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a large concern. Many times I have to stop myself and think “should I say this?” More times than not I just go with it and figure if my audience gets that upset about my true feelings about something then do I really need them as viewers? Are they here to hear my opinions about something or just to have their feelings echoed and validated?
9 of 12What helps you maintain your motivation to continue creating content?
The conversations with viewers. Dead End Hip Hop has built up a huge community that loves jumping into the comment section to give their input on what we just talked about. And I think that’s one of the most rewarding things about making these videos. And that’s something that I try to bring to my private channel as well. I want people to care enough about what I’m talking about to want to give their opinions on it. And when I see a lot of interaction in the comment section of a video that’s when I know that I’m providing the people with something quality.
10 of 12What's the one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in content creation?
Find your voice and stick to it. Figure out the type of things you want to talk about and the way in which you want to convey your points. And then go for it. Refuse to ever waiver from how you feel about something regardless of the backlash. Because if you’re being honest and true to yourself, there will always be backlash. It comes with the territory. No group is a monolith. You need to accept that and conduct yourself accordingly.
11 of 12What is your most defining piece of content in your opinion? Why?
Probably my very first vinyl video. That’s what really got me interested in doing YouTube videos. I got the idea from Anthony Fantano (The Needledrop) and decided to go through my record collection on camera. I think that’s where people first really got a taste of how far my musical taste spans as well as my personality outside of debating on Dead End Hip Hop. And the response was generally positive and made me want to keep doing them. And now, five years later, I’ve built an entire channel off of that. It’s a really cool feeling.
12 of 12What brands would you most like to work with?
I love brands who try to do things differently. Ones that operate on their own terms and produce items with no regard for the input of detractors. Companies like Blackcraft Cult, Cvlt Nation, Mishka, Stay Home Club. I’d also love to work with vinyl distros and retailers. Or places like Vinyl Me Please, VNYL, Vinyl Moon. Or even pro-vegan brands like Herbivore Clothing, Anticarnist, Compassionate Closet, Food Fight. I just want to promote brands that align with my views and perspective.